self•lationship: self-care vol.1
Self-care, self love, self this, self that. The last five years of social media and TV has been flooded with this not so new phenomenon but it’s become somewhat of a revolution. To put down everything and center yourself in order to find peace within your life. This is something that many of us, especially as Black Women haven’t been allowed room to do. In fact it goes even further when you are a mother, a wife, caregiver of any sort, or all of the above. Hence why I see it as something that is revolutionary. To stand up and say, “Hey world, I f*ckin love myself too much to allow anyone or anything to disrupt that peace.” It’s a beautiful thing to envision but even more beautiful to experience.
I can’t lie and say I’ve fully reached that moment. However, I am pretty damn close. Today’s post originated in a personal journal entry but it felt more proper to be shared with you all. So I hope that you enjoy!
For your listening pleasure:
A Love Supreme is one of my all time favs by John Coltrane. When considering love, why must we always make it about romance? I wish self-mance was a thing too. Matter of fact it should be. We fight our entire lives to sweep others off their feet or to be swept off of our own. We are on a constant pursuit of happiness for others yet doing so for ourselves hasn’t been fully normalized.
I don’t believe God intended for us to live our lives for other people. If so, we would all be born together and be the same person. Sounds weird right? So is living for others. Today I’m calling on my single, separated and divorced ladies to love on yourself supremely. You deserve it.
Now what does loving yourself supremely even look like? The journey of self love is one that I believe must include lots of healing. Consider the ways in which we are conditioned in society and again especially as women.
Most things we are do are supposed to appease the male gaze or the general masses. Meaning, if you do not fit the standard of beauty for society, then more times than not you are set to the side. Does that mean you are no longer useful? Absolutely not. As Black Women, our beauty and value has often been conflated with what it is that we can provide others.
How can we make a man feel good? How can we make white people feel comfortable around us? How can we change our hair or dialect to fit in to Corporate America?
So many layers of us have been stripped away, only to be stolen time and time again. Our layers are then plastered onto the bodies of others in a more a “acceptable,” way. This is why healing is important especially for my fellow single Black Women.
Simply being single doesn’t single you out from the beauty of life. It also doesn’t mean you are incapable of being happy fully and wholly by yourself.
So what can you do to find self love and ultimately self-care? You can start by finding out what really makes you smile. No, I mean really really makes you smile.
Is it reruns of Living Single all day? (That’s me LOL). Is it how you brew your coffee in the morning? Or is it simple walks in the park taking in all of God’s beautiful artwork aka nature?
Whatever that thing is, search for it, define it and begin to apply it more in your life on the daily. If it’s binge watching shows, try to be careful with that. I don’t want you become addicted to TV.
Anyways, it’s important for us to find those activities and moments that motivate us to be happy every single day.
Then as we start to implement those activities in our lives, we begin to feel lighter, freer and hopefully happier. This isn’t a one size fits all situation.
Some of us need a deeper self-care which brings me to the next thought. There are things that have occurred in our lives, whether to us or those around us that have detrimentally impacted us our entire life. However, we may not even notice it.
Sometimes we are suffering from pain that isn’t even ours to hold. Burdens too broad for our own shoulders. This is why going a step further by seeking therapy, community groups and other similar forms of assistance are essential.
I personally say this all the time, I’ve tried therapy several times and am currently in it now. This is the first year that I have really seen the difference in my life.
I’ve learned about boundaries, giving myself grace and room to grow. Being more patient with life in itself. Understanding how much of a process true healing is. As my therapist always says, “Healing is not linear.”
In other words, it is not a one size fits all process. There layers to it, there are layers to us and layers to finally reaching that place of peace.
So what is self-care?
Learning your boundaries
Knowing your boundaries
Accepting your boundaries
Applying your boundaries
Sticking to your boundaries
When I say boundaries, this can apply to a myriad of things in your life. What you will accept from yourself, your partner, people at work, at school, your children and hell even strangers. Self-care is creating a safe environment for yourself to not only survive in but to thrive in. For some of us that can be the simple moments of drinking tea, doing yoga, mediating and praying. Either way, it is what you set out for yourself to indulge in peacefully.
With that said, while self-care can certainly be spa days, movie nights, wine nights, brunch, Netflix binges, mani/pedi trips, eating a tub of ice cream, working out, eating right, not eating right etc. the list goes on. Hell even masturbation is a form of self-care but y’all not ready for me to get that deep on here LOL. If that’s not your thing, keep scrolling.
All in all, it is all about learning what does and does not work for you. Self-care is doing the work which includes all of the things mentioned above. Self-care is self love because you’ve taken the time out to know yourself. To know yourself is to nurture yourself and to do that is show yourself a love supreme.
Your Good Sis,